Some years ago now, my African Grey Parrot, Winston, was published in a ‘Meet My Parrot’ article.
In the time since we have had many adventures. Grown a true bond, and, through DNA testing realised he’s a she!
Now, primarily going by Winnie.
(Winona, Winnie-woo and Stinker are also used generously- but she doesn’t seem to mind.)
She is now 6 years old, I got her at 18 weeks, clipped wings and on a seed laden diet.
Through regular avian vet check-ups and following the advice she was soon receiving the best pellet diet, UV lighting and air purifying husbandry to maximise her health and happiness.
Now fully flighted, harness wearing and utterly loveable we love strolls around the streets in summer and work on her training and enrichment daily.
I’d grown up with Cockatiels and fostered Indian Ringnecks but I’d always wanted the companionship that comes from a hand-reared, socialised African Grey. I certainly got that.
She loves her pellets and munches on them sociably when we are eating also. Dried chillies, nuts and fresh fruit/veg will also be excitedly scoffed.
Winnie the Destroyer, yet another fitting name, as her favourite toys consist of foraging toys that can be viciously devoured. And balls. Balls with bells in. I will throw them up the stairs and she lobs them back down. Her returns are better than my family’s dogs.
She speaks (only clean language) and is very bossy. Telling my toddler son and other family members to “stop”, “sit”, etc. She’s a keen cheerleader during my sons mealtimes and often suggests “water” or “din-din’s ” before we do.
Her singing is her trade mark. Her rendition of ‘ol’ McDonald’ is legendary since her pig oinks are on cue and hilarious. But other nursery rhymes are frequently rehearsed.
She’s been on instagram (wwwinston_101) since we got her and the community has certainly aided me in my Parrot ownership alongside the sense of community it provides.
Before bringing a Parrot into your home you need to recognise that it is a life time commitment and a full time job. The more you put into them, the more they give back to you, being a lazy owner of a caged bird is not the way to go.
They are highly temperamental and can be easily distressed if not correctly cared for. I put a lot of effort into the research of Parrot ownership before I got her and it’s been a continuous effort ever since.
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